Your Healthy Food Guide to the Dirty Dozen Foods

Here is your Healthy Food Guide to the Dirty Dozen Foods as complied by the Environmental Working group. The organization takes the government data and identifies which types of produce have the most chemicals and pesticide residue. They then publish the list of the Dirty Dozen Foods that perhaps you would be safer if you picked the Organic variety.

Celery tops the list. Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off any chemicals. While you could peel the outer side of the celery, you can't peel the inner side. If you need celery, consider organic.

Peaches, Multiple pesticides (as many as 62 of them by some reports) are applied to this fruit in the orchard. Because they start to apply these chemicals while the peach is still a flower, the pesticides can be on the inside as well as the outside of the peach.

Strawberries, the pesticides are applied to these plants while the berry is still a flower, as much as 59 pesticides have been detected on strawberries. Imported strawberries have even less stringent regulations for pesticides so you might want to avoid strawberries altogether during the off season.

Apples, typically grown with poisons to kill pests such as insects and fungi, you can often see the chemicals being sprayed on the fruit while it is one the tree.They use up to 42 different pesticides on apples. Peeling and scrubbing does not remove all the pesticides but it does remove a lot of the beneficial nutrients found in the skin of the apple.

Blueberries are new to the dirty dozen for this year. They are treated with as many as 52 pesticides which makes them one of the dirtiest of all the berries on the market. Because blueberries are so good for the heart, you really want to go organic and keep blueberries as part of your diet.

Nectarines are up there with apples and peaches as dirty tree fruit because tree fruit is sprayed while the fruit is still in flower, the pesticides get inside the fruit.

Bell peppers are often sprayed with insecticides and their skins don't offer much of a barrier to protect the inside of the pepper.

Cherries have been found to contain up to 42 different pesticides, and those in the U.S. Often have much more than imported cherries.

Spinach is new to the list this year. It has been found to have up to 48 different pesticides making in high on the list.

Kale is a hardy vegetable that does not suffer from pests and disease but this year it is found to contain a large amount of pesticides anyway.

Potatoes, a household staple is back on the list with up to 37 different pesticides.

Grapes complete the list. Imported grapes are on the list this year. You can not wash or peel off the pesticides. When you think of organic grapes, think of organic wine also. The pesticides that are found in the grape can make it into the wines we drink.

That completes the list of the Dirty Dozen Fruits and Vegetables. When you can, it is wise to purchase the organic produce for better health. If and how badly these pesticides can effect us is still unknown. There are those that will tell you that there isn't enough pesticides on a grape or two to hurt you. When you eat the required servings of fruits and vegetables that amount can add up quickly. It is your Health, so you must make the choice. This report is just to make you aware of the possibilities and not to advise you on what to eat.